A delightful dream legend by children’s book author Depalma (Young Cupid!, 2008, etc.), featuring wonderfully absurd cartoons by debut artist Brown.
Every night, a man travels around the world, walking down the streets but always remaining just out of sight. He leads the Night Parade, which collects nightmares and pleasant dreams alike, which leave their dreamers to fall in line. Sometimes, Brown depicts the dreams as abstract swirls; at others, he depicts solid images that hint at the dream’s contents: a jack out of the box, popping through the roof of a house or a train bursting through the wall of another. The mysterious man sometimes leaves dreams for people to ponder in the morning; even those that dreamers have forgotten may return if something prompts a recollection. Overall, the Night Parade leader doesn’t get rid of the dreams he harvests; instead, he protects the good ones from the bad. Why go to all the effort? “So we long for something more. / It’s something we’ve forgotten, / something missing in our core,” Depalma explains. The book’s implication is that lost dreams drive people to accomplish great things, to travel the world, to strive toward their goals. Young readers may not find that idea as poignant as their parents do, but they’ll still likely fall into the wonderfully textured rhythm of the words as they settle in for the night: “Past the walls, beyond the gate, / and above each flower’s bloom, / they melt into the line-up / of his falling footstep tune.” Although the leader of the Night Parade is quite unassuming in the illustrations, the dreams that follow him will make wonderful starting points for readers to begin their own tales as they explore the many different types of dreams.
A perfect choice for bedtime reading, featuring a muted color palette and soothing rhyme.